Santee Cooper may object to Dominion takeover of SCANA

UTILITIES: South Carolina-owned Santee Cooper files a motion to intervene in Dominion’s planned takeover of SCANA — possibly positioning itself to challenge the merger. (The State)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

NUCLEAR:
• An official with the country’s largest nuclear operator, Exelon, says it’s likely no new nuclear power units will be built after Georgia’s Plant Vogtle project. (Platts)
• Environmentalists worry Miami-Dade County and Florida Power & Light are moving too quickly on a plan to use treated wastewater to cool nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point plant. (WLRN)

PIPELINES:
• Virginia’s Water Control Board opens a public comment period on whether U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pipeline water crossing approvals adequately protect the state’s waters.  (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• SCANA subsidiary PSNC Energy will be the anchor customer for a project to extend the Mountain Valley Pipeline to North Carolina.

Mountain Valley Pipeline proposes extending into North Carolina

PIPELINES: Mountain Valley Pipeline officials announce plans to extend the controversial pipeline across the Virginias into North Carolina. (Roanoke Times)

MORE: Authorities charge three people in Virginia as protests against the Mountain Valley Pipeline intensify. (Roanoke Times)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

NUCLEAR:
• South Carolina regulators may rule in the coming weeks whether SCE&G customers will get a temporary break from paying monthly charges for the failed Summer nuclear project. (The State)
• Environmental groups say SCE&G is “refusing and obstructing” its requests for records related to the failed Summer nuclear project and want regulators to intervene. (Post and Courier)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke says states opposed to the federal government’s plan to expand offshore drilling “will be very happy” with a draft proposal released this fall.

Duke University delays gas plant, looks to pig waste to power campus

BIOGAS: Duke University indefinitely delays a proposed controversial gas power plant on campus, shifting its focus to biogas captured from pig manure to meet its climate change goal. (Southeast Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

SOLAR:
• In a surprise move and under pressure from the state’s major utilities, the South Carolina House kills a bill that would have expanded rooftop solar; one lawmaker says utilities “are showing the people of South Carolina that they run this state.” (Post and Courier)
• Virginia’s capacity to generate solar electricity is expected to triple over the next five years, according to a national industry report. (Virginian-Pilot)
• An insurance company sells a product to Virginia projects that guarantees as much as 95 percent of a solar farm’s expected output. (Bloomberg)
• A North Carolina energy storage project is an example of improved solar panel efficiency. (CleanTechnica)

NATURAL GAS: U.S natural gas production reaches a record-high volume, with Louisiana and the Appalachian region leading the way.

Coal’s rising production costs main driver of Appalachian mine closures

COAL:  Rising production costs — not cheap natural gas — was the lead factor in thousands of coal mine closures across Appalachia, a new study shows. (WV Public Broadcasting)

MORE:
• Kentucky lawmakers didn’t consult federal experts during the 14 months they considered a new law that mostly limits black lung diagnoses to pulmonologists working for coal companies. (NPR)
• West Virginia’s Supreme Court rules in favor of Gov. Jim Justice’s coal companies in a lawsuit on behalf of 16 families who alleged well water contamination. (Register-Herald)
• West Virginia counties report an increase in revenues generated by coal severance taxes after a reduction in state regulations. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

CAP-AND-TRADE: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam vetoes a bill that would have prohibited him from establishing a carbon cap-and-trade program without approval from the General Assembly.

Radiologists: Repeal Kentucky’s black lung law

COAL: A radiology organization asks Kentucky to repeal a new law that blocks radiologists from diagnosing black lung disease for insurance claims, limiting workers to seeing just half a dozen specialists in the state. (WVIK)

***SPONSORED LINK: Receive continuing education credits, learn about new energy solutions and best practices, and network with over 700 attendees at the 2018 State Energy Conference of North Carolina, April 17-18, in Raleigh, N.C.***

NUCLEAR: Santee Cooper executives secretly fretted for years that SCANA was incapable of overseeing South Carolina’s failed Summer nuclear project, internal records show. (Post and Courier​)

EMISSIONS: Arkansas regulators are working to replace an Obama-era plan to reduce emissions from coal plants, a new court filing shows. (E&E News, subscription)

PIPELINES:
• Georgia is finalizing new rules to require more thorough environmental review and stricter public disclosures for building gasoline and oil pipelines. (Savannah Morning News)
• U.S. Forest Service officials close an access road in West Virginia, making it impossible to deliver supplies to a Mountain Valley Pipeline protester who is living in tree; meanwhile, landowners continue their opposition to the project.